Mattias Ekstrom admits he was frustrated to miss out on pole position for the fourth round of the DTM at Brands Hatch having recorded the fastest time of the weekend in qualifying, but crucially not when it mattered.
Returning to the circuit where he claimed his one and only win of 2006, Ekstrom will start from fourth position after seeing rivals Mercedes lock-out the front row in another tight session.
However, Ekstrom had more reason to be frustrated after setting a lap in the second knockout stage that would have easily been good enough for pole position. Failing to replicate that in the top-eight shootout, the Swede was naturally disappointed.
“I was frustrated not to repeat my time,” he told Crash.net Radio
. “Every driver wants to be on pole and I am the same because I want to go for victory tomorrow. Disappointment is always there because you do a good lap and you are fourth, but this time I feel disappointed because I felt I could have done more.”
Nonetheless, Ekstrom is confident of his form come race day having completed the victory from the same fourth position last year, the former champion pointing out the Audi A4 is showing better pace this weekend.
“I feel confident here because last year I also started fourth and went on to win the race. It is important to be on the front row but the second row is fine. I had good pace today, especially in the second qualifying stage when I set the fastest lap of the weekend, but unfortunately I could not repeat it when it mattered.
Ekstrom does admit to being surprised to see Mika Hakkinen and Bruno Spengler annex the front row after Audi had dominated the practice session before qualifying, but after inheriting the lead of the race last year in the latter stages, only his position at the chequered flag matters.
“Seeing the Mercedes on the front row surprised me because I though the Audi's would be very strong, but Mercedes did not show their hand in practice and when it came to qualifying they went for pole and they got it right, but hopefully we can be strong in the race.
“The start will be very important and then we need two good pit stops, but it really isn't over until the flag drops.”